Saturday, December 6

Day Six ... one and a bonus!! :D

Today Jack got to get in on the fun! :D  (and it is really fun!  If you haven't tried it yet you really should...!  Just a simple act can really brighten someone's day but you'll be amazed at the effect it has on yours!! :D)  He's been going to Earl May's Garden Center for the past 6 months, once a month, to attend a little class put on by a lovely lady.  They do seasonal things, for Halloween they decorated pumpkins by planting flowers in them, for Christmas they made a lovely table decoration and so on.  This was the last class so Jack took along a gift for the teacher.  It was basically the same at the one he gave his bus driver, an Eco Coffee Mug, bar of chocolate, packet of Milano cookies, some ground coffee, a hot chocolate mix and an apple cider mix all bagged up with a label on it.  He couldn't wait to give it to her!

Jack all ready to go in!! :D 

I was hiding to catch a quick pick!  She was very happy!

So after dropping off Jack to his class hubby and I headed out for a coffee at a nearby coffee shop.
I had a delicious pumpkin spice latte which is not usually my thing but BOY did that put a smile on my face and a song in my heart!  I was PINGING by the time I was done with it!!  As we were waiting for our order I pointed a lady out to hubby.  She was further down the line, just ordering, but she was wearing a Union Jack T Shirt under a flannel shirt AND a T.A.R.D.I.S knitted hat!!!

I knew what I had to do! :D  I paid for her order!  I asked the lady who had helped me to figure out what she was ordering and let me pay for it without her knowing it was me!  The barista was SO excited to help!  She got a big grin on her face and couldn't wait. :D  I went to sit down so I wasn't close by when she got her food but I went up a few moments later to pick up my coffee and another lady was exclaiming in surprise!  Seems my Dr. Who lady had paid it forward! :D  I LOVE when that happens!!  I got the joy of starting it out, the lady in the hat got the joy of receiving it AND the joy of spreading it along and then the other lady got the joy of receiving that!!  And whilst she didn't pay it forward right away, who's to say that she won't pay it forward in some other way later on... large or small these little things add up.  Maybe she'll be in a good mood and let someone ahead of her in traffic?  Maybe she'll call a friend for a chat, who knows.  It just takes ONE little push to start a ball rolling.

So  the day went on pretty much as usual after that... hubby and I did our weekly shopping and errand running whilst Jess watched the smaller kiddies.  We went out for lunch and then came home.  I talked to the children about my thoughts regarding scaling back on Christmas.  We've been cutting it down and cutting it down each year and it's getting to a point where it feels very manageable.  The kids were quite happy with our suggestions and we decided to try it a different way this time.  They set to work writing a list of four things they would like.  Something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read.

Jack got to work right away!

LOL!!  Jessie trying to think what she would like!

And so after a nice dinner, some games of chess for Dad and Jess, some games of throw around pom poms and pretend they are hot cookies and throw around cotton balls and pretend they are snowballs for Millie and I it was time for the children to go to bed.  And now here I stand.  I've done a little ( teensy teensy) bit of  Yoga, I'm trying to get back in to my twice daily habit... right now it's down to .... streeeeetch as I reach for something in the pantry!  I HAVE mastered the headstand without the wall though and I find that supremely fun!! :D  I'm hoping to get a little meditation in before bed but until then it's me and kitty and my blog!!

Raindrop!  LOVES to help type! :D

Lovely to chat, talk to you tomorrow! G'night!

Friday, December 5

Day Five, it's a gas gas gas! :D

Today we had Charlotte here as she had slept over the night before.  It was a CRAZY 50 degrees out and I thought a nice walk would be in order.  The dogs thought so too.  Even Millie was (fairly) willing to put on clo' and go for a ride in her stroller with us.  We walked the dogs a bit and then headed to the gas station for today's Random Act.  We went into the station and bought three scratch lottery tickets, tucked a $10 bill alongside and put the lot into a ziplock bag which we taped along with a note to a gas pump!  At the time the gas station was empty ( which was good, we didn't want to be "choosing" who would get the surprise! )  We headed off home and when I looked back I saw that a car had already pulled up to the pump and a lady had received her gift!  I was too far away to see clearly but she must have been happy with it I would have thought?? :D

Later, after snacks consisting of more Christmas cake and a bit of banana bread thrown in I took one of my cakes to the Post Office to mail to my friend Lisa in Michigan.  I chatted with our lovely post mistress and she told me that someone had picked up the stamps we left earlier and they were so excited by it that THEY went and bought a book of stamps too and left them for another person!    THAT'S the fun part of RAK's.   Last year we did one at the Christmas Tree farm and it went on and on and on for 12 more rounds!  The tree farm people called me to tell me about it they were so excited.  They had such a lot of fun facilitating the whole thing!  

So there ya have it.  Random Acts, pass 'em on!  It's a good thing! :D

Thursday, December 4

Day Four! :D Baby Blessings!

I used to walk my dogs miles every day.... then... well it got cold!  I do try to walk them as often as possible but when it's so cold I don't want to take Millie out and so we stay at home.  Nevertheless the other evening I was out walking the pooch and happened to notice a house with a New Baby Girl sign in the yard.  I had no idea who lived there, it could have been their first child, could have been their fifth, it didn't matter, I knew I wanted to make them a Random Act gift.  We bought some pink fleece fabric with white polka dots and made a small knotted blanket.

 I popped it into a box and added two chocolate bars, because, well.... chocolate!! :D

Jess and her friend Charlotte came along with me and they went to the door with their parcel.  I'd taped a note on the front saying congratulations on the arrival of their baby girl and hoping they would accept our small gift as a random act of kindness.

I'm sure they have all the baby blankets and what not they need BUT it's nice to know that other people are thinking of you sometimes!  I hope they enjoy it or at least the thought behind it! :D

Speaking of the thought behind things my darling husband came home with a brand new tea pot for me tonight!!  I get through tea kettles and tea pots at a rather alarming rate and the one I was currently using is from the 1960's, made in Holland and enamel.  I found myself rather alarmed to discover bits of metal flaking off into the tea.  That's enough of THAT thought I.  New teapot a go go!! :D   I keep a private blog called Reasons I Love my Husband.  I post things here that make me smile and help me keep in mind all the good things about marriage that sometimes it's  easy to forget. It's like a gratitude journal but about him! :D....  So the teapot thing will CERTAINLY be tonight's entry!

In other news.....

 I put together a couple of really simple table top decorations this morning 

I love this little guy's face!

and baked some banana bread, regular bread and frosted some more Christmas Cakes.  (all gluten free if you needed recipes..!!)

Charlotte and Mary came over to watch the little ones whilst I took Jess to an Ortho appointment and I'll be darned if we didn't decide we ought to sample the Christmas cake.... and it was good.  I can Not stop eating it!!  I really REALLY should get started on that fitness regime!! 

Wednesday, December 3

Day three!

We were looking forward to this one as it was a gift to Jack's ( and Jessie's when she went to school!) bus driver!  The lovely lady is always to friendly and cheery though I know she is also very firm with the kids.  I need her to be firm with the kids.  She has my babies on there I need to know she isn't going to be distracted by wild behavior!  Anyway, it was Jack's turn to give a gift and Gail's turn to get one!!  We'd done a little shopping at HyVee yesterday and put together a fairly respectable little gift bag I think!

An Eco mug, some ground coffee, some hot chocolate mix, some apple cider mix, a bar of Belgian chocolate and a bag of Milano cookies!!  

We bagged it all up into a gift bag and Jack waited excitedly for the bus to arrive in the FRIGID air!  (I've been driving him down the block to the stop lately, it's crazy cold to have to stand there in the, for some reason, we thought it would be warm enough to walk down.   Hmm.  20 degrees and a north wind?  Not so cozy!)  

Once the bus arrived he climbed up on board and we all greeted Gail and thanked her for everything she does for the children!  She's a lovely lady and I can't imagine doing her job.  She deserves every act of kindness she can get! :D 

Once Jack was safely off to school Jess and I returned home and once our fingers had defrosted we got to work on some Christmas card writing.  I might actually get some out this year!  It was very nice to have a helper to write all the envelopes.  

Our neighbor's little girl was supervising Jess to make sure she was doing it right!!

Shortly before lunch I gathered up my smallest child and bribed her into putting on some clothes so that we could go and see my friend Diana.  How did I bribe her you ask??  Diana has a bunny.  Millie has ALWAYS loved Bunnies.  She couldn't get dressed fast enough!!

We spent a lovely few hours in Diana's beautiful home eating delicious food, drinking hot green tea and sampling muffins that her son had made for us!  Millie was starting to get tired and unhappy though.  She was coughing and just looked sick.  Poor little mite.  I packed her back up and headed home with a  quick quick quick stop at the library.  I had recently got Jess hooked on Janet Evanovich books and she had raced through the first one (One for the Money).  Like me Jess hates to be without a book and we don't get to go to the library as much as we would like so I tore in with Millie and went straight to the correct section and picked up Two for the Dough and also Three to Get Deadly...  she reads FAST!   Back home and naps on the couch all round!

I gave Millie some pineapple that had been soaking in honey for some weeks.  It's supposed to work wonders for coughs and sore throats.  We'll see how it goes but it certainly tastes delicious and once she got over her initial suspicion, she couldn't get enough!   Here's hoping for a good night's sleep!

Tuesday, December 2

Day two! :D

Today was a lovely day considering last night we were up until the wee hours with a puking little girl...  :(  Poor Millie.  She developed croup or something and would throw up about every 20 minutes until one in the morning.  I finally managed to get her to stop throwing up after I read something online suggesting that she sniff a rubbing alcohol swab.  It seemed to work wonders as once I'd had her sniff it she never threw up again!  Good to remember I think!! She and I slept together cuddled on the couch and Daddy slept close by on the floor.  After one am she was just fine and when she finally woke up in the morning it was as if she had never been sick at all!  :D  We HAD planned to go to a friend's house today ( Hi Diana!!!) but after chatting with her on the phone we decided that perhaps it was best to give Millie a while and make sure she was really clear.  ... So we are going tomorrow!!

I took Jess and Millie out to the stores this afternoon to pick up some neat things for some future Acts of Kindness.

Millie putting on her "Mits"...!  See ?  She does wear clothes to go out!!

 We arrived at Hobby Lobby but Millie was fast asleep so Jess stayed in the car with Millie and a book whilst I entered alone....!  It's a good job I knew that I had Jess waiting for me... I tend to lose HOURS in stores like that!!  I picked out some of the things I had been looking for then headed with the kids to HyVee where we went crazy picking out some more fun stuff!

Seriously?!  How lucky am I?  I get to look at this sweet face every day :D
(She's grinning at her big sister!)
I have tomorrow's RAK already planned and I can't wait to carry that one out... it's going to be a nice treat for Jack's bus driver..... shhhh!!

Anyway, after all our errands and what not we headed back home but decided to stop by the Post Office to carry out today's mission!  We all went in and visited with the ALWAYS lovely but terribly camera shy Kathy, our Post Mistress.  Millie picked out a book of Christmas stamps which we bought but we left for whomever comes to buy a book of stamps next.  We did this mission last year too and  Kathy was able to tell us about it and she loves to be in on our fun!

Loitering with intent at the scene of the "crime"! :D 

The stamps picked out by Millie! :D
Our afternoon ended up with lots of reading and viewing of today's Christmas movie, The Snowman. Millie just couldn't get enough of it and I love how there is no speaking in it, just beautiful art work and lovely music.   Very peaceful!  Last night's movie was Elf....  Hilarity of course... not QUITE so peaceful but an enormous family favorite!

Monday, December 1

Let the RAK'ing begin!! :D

December 1st!  We've been anxiously awaiting this day to start our Random Acts of Kindness for the season!  We don't JUST do it in December but it's certainly more structured this time of year!! We'll do random acts of kindness anytime the mood takes us ( I bought a guy's newspaper and a greetings card at Walgreen's the other day for instance!) ...anyhoo!  Today was the first day and our first Random Act of Kindness was a piece of cake!  No, literally it was a piece of cake!! :D  I had recently offered to make some traditional English Christmas Fruit Cakes for anyone who might want one and was going to sell them for a little extra cash.  A friend of mine who lives in another state said she would love one and said she would be passing through Nebraska on Monday (today!) She said if I could manage to get it made she would pick it up on the way home!  So I bought the stuff, made the cake and this morning covered it with a layer of marzipan and a thick layer of Royal Icing, just the way my Mama taught me!!  She stopped by to collect it and was getting ready to pay me for it when I decided to make her my first RAK of December!  One Christmas Cake, free of charge!

We also put up our RAK tree.  For November we made a Thankful tree where we filled leaves with things we were thankful for.  This month we made a tree and the decorations are each going to be Random Acts of Kindness that we have performed. :)

My Elvish helper ... somewhat of a goofball, especially when she is high on sugar and frosting!! :D

So there we have it, the first bauble on the tree to symbolize the first Act of the month! 

In other news my smallest girl got to work decorating her little tree, the "Yes" tree from last year.  She was so excited to decorate it and kept pointing to where she was going to place the next bauble.  She would then say "Here!", place the bauble and then give herself two thumbs up before proceeding to the next one.  At one point she lay on her stomach on the floor, rested her chin upon her hands and gazed at her handiwork.  When Daddy got home she took him by the hand and walked him over to see her tree.  "Did YOU do that?"  He asked ....   "Uh HUH!" she proudly replied!! :D 

And yes, for those of you who know her well you will not be in the least surprised to see she is clad only in a diaper.  The only way she will wear clothes is if we go outside, even then she can't take them off fast enough once we get home! :D 

All in all a lovely day.  I managed to get a long walk in with the dogs.... it was about 20 degrees so rather fresh but I felt I needed to feel the cold in my bones.  I believe your body needs to KNOW it's cold in winter... it needs to feel the chill and to let the blood cool, if you know what I mean!  There's nothing more healthy looking in the winter time than rosy cheeks from being outside in the cold air!  Having said that I will say I am VERY grateful for our new furnaces.  Very grateful indeed.